My dear friend, Kim Platt, joins Letters to the Lord again today to share about disappointment. I always appreciate Kim’s thoughtful prose. I know you will too.
I can feel the tears forming in my eyes as it slowly dawns on me that I am joining the Zoom call at the wrong time. I’ve been looking forward to this all day. But I am joining at the end, not the beginning. I’m confused and frustrated. What has happened? What have I done wrong? I’d put it in the diary at the first chance. Did I get the time wrong? Stupid me, of course the time was wrong; late evening for me would be even later for my friend hosting the contemplative prayer evening. Why didn’t I notice when I was looking at the times this morning, double checking because it was a priority for me?
So I sit very still as the others share their reflections from sitting with Psalm 46. I don’t want to distract. But the stillness seems at odds with the emotion filling up inside. Lord, I so needed this today. And now it seems stolen. Should I just leave the meeting now and try and join the Roman’s Bible study? But I already told them I couldn’t join tonight. I’m trying to take care of myself in this time of isolation. My mind is racing: what should I do?
I stay on the call. I listen to lovely summaries of the fruit of the lectio. I see some faces I know and some I don’t. Then there is a song at the end.
Stay with me, remain here with me, watch and pray!
Stay here and keep watch with me. Watch and pray, watch and pray!
Watch and pray not to give way to temptation.
The spirit is eager, but the flesh is weak.
My heart is nearly broken with sorrow. Remain here with me, stay awake and pray.
Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by.
Father, if this cannot pass me by without my drinking it, your will be done
The song washes over me. Jesus knows disappointment. I make it to the end, I swallow the tears. I breathe. I apologize for joining so late. I thank them for sharing what they got from the verses. “Make glad the city of God,” hits me. My friend says that the timing issue is probably her fault. I say, I still should have realized it was wrong. I work with time zones every day in my member care job.
I chat with those who stay on the call for another 20 minutes or so. I feel the emotion changing to calm. The disappointment is losing its power. Everyone agrees to meet again in a month.
I’m sad I missed it. It wasn’t my fault. But I need to have grace. I don’t have to blame someone. Often anger is my response, not tears. So it’s progress that tears were the first response. Anger often needs a target. But this time I call for grace. I ask the Spirit to help me.
I tell my husband what happened. I tell him it wasn’t my fault—why is this so important? I tell him I was looking forward to it. I’m not angry, just disappointed.
For me this is what growth looks like. It’s recognizing when certain patterns derail me. It’s calling out, “Lord, help me.” It’s choosing a different route—and seeing if the outcome is different. Because anger doesn’t bring about the righteous life that God has planned for me.
James 1:20 NLT
Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
Especially anger that is fast. Because God is slow to anger. Slow anger, that is angry about injustice and holiness. Most of the time my anger is about me. It’s selfish anger. It’s about my image. It’s about my ambition. My anger is about protecting myself from the pain that comes with loss.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
But God is my example. He is slow to anger. Anger is not his default response—that would be love. And when he is angry, it’s not forever. That’s what I’m trying to learn, and this time zone catastrophe helped me see that I can choose the impact of the painful loss over the destruction of blame and anger that seethes and rots inside my heart.
I’m disappointed that I missed out on a wonderful reflective evening of stillness and calm. But I gained a confidence in God’s transforming power in my life.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
I’ve been living cross-culturally since 1988. I love listening to people and helping them hear themselves and hopefully hear God. I love speaking and teaching. I’m recovering from breast cancer that shook me to the foundations in 2017. I live by the seaside in Wales and work from home with my husband. I’ve raised 4 children in countries ‘foreign’ to me and am now enjoying 2 grandchildren. I’m a member care specialist with One Collective. You can read more of my devotional thoughts on my blog: https://plattmom.blogspot.com